Tropical Storm Sally Strengthens, Hurricane Warning Includes New Orleans

Tropical Storm Sally strengthened on Sunday morning and a Hurricane Warning included the city of New Orleans.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Sally was located at latitude 27.5°N and longitude 84.9°W which put it about 280 miles (450 km) east-southeast of the Mouth of the Mississippi River.  Sally was moving toward the west-northwest at 12 m.p.h. (16 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 998 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Morgan City, Louisiana to Ocean Springs, Mississippi including New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.  A Hurricane Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Intracoastal City to Morgan City, Louisiana.  A Hurricane Watch was also in effect for the portion of the coast from Ocean Springs, Mississippi to the Alabama/Florida border.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Ocean Springs, Mississippi to Indian Pass, Florida.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Indian Pass to Ochlockonee River, Florida.

Data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter plane indicated that Tropical Storm Sally was strengthening on Sunday morning.  Even though Tropical Storm Sally was strengthening, the distribution of thunderstorms was asymmetrical.  The strongest thunderstorms were occurring around the center of circulation and in bands in the eastern side of Sally.  Bands in the western half of the circulation still consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  Storms near the center of Tropical Storm Sally generated upper level divergence which pumped mass away from the tropical storm.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 90 miles (145 km) from the center of circulation.

Tropical Storm Sally will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 36 hours.  Sally will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will move under an upper level ridge where the winds are weak.  There will be little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Storm Sally is likely to strengthen into a hurricane during the next 24 hours.  Sally could intensify more rapidly once an inner core with an eye and an eyewall forms.  There is a chance that it could strengthen into a major hurricane.

Tropical Storm Sally will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Sally toward the west-northwest during the next 36 hours.  On its anticipated track Sally could approach southeastern Louisiana on Monday night.  Sally will move more toward the north and it could slow down when it reaches the western end of the high.  Sally will have the potential to cause serious damage.  It could cause a storm surge of 9 to 12 feet (3 to 4 meters).  If Sally moves slowly, it will drop heavy rain that will cause flash floods.

Elsewhere, Hurricane Paulette continued to move toward Bermuda, Tropical Depression Rene weakened and Tropical Depression Twenty strengthened.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Hurricane Paulette was located at latitude 29.9°N and longitude 61.9°W which put it about 240 miles (385 km) southeast of Bermuda.  Paulette was moving toward the northwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 976 mb.  A Hurricane Warning was in effect for Bermuda.

At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Depression Rene was located at latitude 26.8°N and longitude 47.6°W which put it about 1150 miles (1855 km) northeast of the Northern Leeward Islands.  Rene was moving toward the northwest at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1011 mb.

At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Depression Twenty was located at latitude 12.3°N and longitude 36.4°W which put it about 1680 miles (2705 km) east of the Northern Leeward Islands.  The depression was moving toward the west-northwest at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1006 mb.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *